Meghan Markle has made headlines thanks to her love life this week (she is reportedly dating Prince Harry), but her career trajectory makes her an independent, ambitious and successful woman in her own right.
The Suits actress and United Nations Women ambassador has contributed to a new book entitled The Game Changers, which profiles some of the most inspiring women around the world – from Gwyneth Paltrow and Bobbi Brown to Elle Macpherson and Rachel Zoe.
Here, we have an exclusive extract from the book, in which Markle lists her tips for success:
1. Don't give it five minutes if you're not going to give it five years.
2. Be kind to yourself.
3. Rome wasn't built in a day.
Here's what else she had to say...
On changing career paths
"I was working for the US Embassy and was going down a path of foreign service. In university, I double-majored in theatre and international relations, so I knew I loved the energy of both, but wasn't sure where I would settle, career-wise."
"I was home [in Los Angeles] over the holiday one year, and a manager asked a friend for a student film I had done. She sent it to him and he called me a few days later, saying he wanted to represent me. It was a turning point because I was able to take a step back and reevaluate what I really wanted to be doing. Plus, truth be told, I was a little homesick at the time, so staying in LA for a bit to roll the dice with an acting career seemed liked a good idea. Thank God it worked!"
On her breakthrough moment on Suits
"It was my first pilot that was ever ordered to series, so the phone call from my agent saying it was being greenlit still remains one of the best days of my life. Once I got over the shock, that is! I was absolutely paralysed in disbelief."
On her shared traits with her Suits character
"We are both strong-willed and driven, as well as being layered and sensitive… The difference between the two of us is that she certainly cries a lot more than I do, but for good reason. Her life is a tad more dramatic than mine, so I certainly can't judge. What we have in common? Our ambition and our taste in shoes."
On being a game-changer
"I started working at a soup kitchen in skid row of Los Angeles when I was 13 years old, and the first day I felt really scared. I was young, and it was rough and raw down there, and though I was with a great volunteer group, I just felt overwhelmed. I remember one of my mentors, Mrs Maria Pollia, told me that 'life is about putting others' needs about your own fears'. That has always stayed with me."
'The Game Changers' by Samantha Brett and Steph Adams is available to buy from December 20. Pre-order your copy at Amazon.com.
Via Harper's Bazaar UK